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South Tama school resource officer post detailed for Tama, Toledo city councils

Meet in Annual Joint Session - Reviews from Aquatic Center, Rec and Trail Programs

November 30, 2018
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

While not a done deal, placement of a school resource officer - a police officer - in South Tama schools and questions about the proposal were presented to a joint meeting of the Tama and Toledo City Councils Monday night, Nov. 26, at the Reinig-Toledo Civic Center. The councils are required to meet together annually for the Aquatic Center, Recreation Trial and Recreation program reports.

"It's becoming more and more common," STC Superintendent Jared Smith told the councils. The ongoing study of such a move has been underway since at least October when discussed at a South Tama School Board meeting held Oct. 22.

Smith said meetings with Tama Police Chief Jason Bina, Toledo Police Chief Bob Kendall and school staff have taken place to formulate the proposal.

Article Photos

Tama and Toledo city councils and officials in session during an annual joint meeting at the Reinig Toledo Civic Center on Monday, Nov. 26. The council meet at least once annually to hear review of shared programs and facilities.
News-Herald/John Speer

Part of the rationale for establishing the position is the issues heard from across the country involving school safety Smith said.

Additionally, Tama Mayor Mike Carnahan and Smith said development of "positive relationships" between students and police is desired.

As it stands an officer would be a member of the Tama Police Force under the direction of Chief Jason Bina. The officer would be headquartered at the South Tama High School in Tama, on the 189 days school is in session or teachers are present, Smith said.

An estimated yearly cost of $80,000 for the officer would be split with the school district paying $60,000 and the City of Tama the remaining $20,000. Salary is proposed at $51,500, with health insurance and related costs for government expense bringing the total to about $78,000. Start up costs, including a car and personal equipment including uniforms, firearm and body camera is estimated at about$46,000.

Smith said he had surveyed the other 13 district members of the WaMaC Conference and found five school districts have resource officers and the other eight are considering the move.

He reported he had also been in contact with other school districts who currently have resource officers including Marshalltown, Maquoketa, Central DeWitt, Marion, Carlisle, Waterloo and Cedar Rapids.

If the position is filled, officer would actually work in all three school buildings including the elementary in Tama and the middle school in Toledo, Smith said. He said he has been assured both police departments jointly respond to emergencies in each city.

Smith said the next step is to bring thee proposal before the South Tama School Board and for it to be considered by the Tama City Council.

-A copy of Frequently Asked Questions presented by Superintendent Smith about the school resource officer position accompanies this article on the website. The proposal may also be read at the news-Herald office, 220 West 3rd in downtown Tama, Mon-Fri- 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

South Tama

Rec Board Report

Jerimi Kopsa, treasurer for the South Tama Recreation Board told the councils some 500 kids in grades kindergarten - 8th took part in programs offered this year.

The activities offered this year included soccer, flag football, baseball, tennis, golf and volleyball.

He said the program spent $40,780 which was funded in part by a combination of city contributions, Tama County Community Foundation grant, business contributions, advertising revenues and registration fees of $25.

Kopsa said he was confident the registration charge could remain at the affordable $25 level with continued financial support from both cities and the board was appreciative of the city contributions.

Members of the Joni Recreation Board are Elizabeth Dolezal, president, Hannah Mullen, Todd Timm, Claire Mayo, Sam Peska, Shana Zmolek, and Kopsa, the treasurer for the group.

Aquatic Center

"We had a great year with no major issues and our revenue was over budget with expenses under budget" was the overview of Tama-Toledo Family Aquatic Center highlighted in the report to the joint council meeting.

Shayna Zmolek, pool board president told council members income was up for admissions to $27,130 from the previous year total of $24,485. This includes sales of family season passes totaling $28,410 compared to $26280 in 2017, and daily admission of $27,130 ($24,485 in 2017.) Pool parties generated $6,440 in income over a total of $4,935 the previous year.

Concessions also topped last year at $15,315 in sales compared to $14,602 last year.

The Red Cross Swimming Program netted $2,076 and the water aerobics program showed a profit of $976.

The Aquatic Center was open a total of 78 days, closed three days and partially open five days.

A total of 29 lifeguards and 17 concession workers were employed along with manager Morgan McFate and assistant manager Marlys Upah.

The pool passed the annual mid summer inspection "with flying colors" Zmolek said.

Some expenses were rebuilding of the backwash manifold $1,600, repair cracks in parking lot $3,750 and a new tarp on top of the slides $1,790.

An October break-in at the pool resulted in $2,000 damage. Two persons have been arrested by Toledo Police in cooperation with Tama Police in the case.

Improvements planned for the 2019 season include a new sign, upgrade of the speaker system and some minor pool equipment replacement.

While not in the works for 2019, Zmolek told council members painting of the now 13-year old pool is estimated to exceed $20,000 in cost may be needed in 2020. In addition, the boiler is original equipment and it is estimated to be a t a $30,000 plus replacement cost.

Neither are budgeted items according to the report.

Aquatic Center board members include Jamie upah, vice president, Jan Boll secretary, Aaron Yuska, Kevin Thomas and Bryan Anderson. Jill Apfel, deputy Toledo city clerk os treasurer and non-voting liaison and Zmolek, the president.

South Tama Recreation Trail

Further expansion of the south Tama Recreation Trail is in the planning stages Jake Jacobson, trial board chair, told the councils. He said the City of Tama's negotiations on land near the Iowa River and Tama Waste Water Treatment Plant is expected to allow for a loop from the Jiffy South Convenience Store spot to the east and northward to Union Pacific Railroad tracks with a return route across U.S. Highway 63.

He said about $17,000 is available in the Trial account which will be needed to complete the added route. Much of that finding is from a Mansfield Foundation grant Jacobsen said.

The trail on which work was begin in 1999 extends now just over six miles from Ross Street near the Toledo City Park to downtown Tama, around Cherry Lake and on the Corps of engineers flood dike to U.S. 63 at Tama's south edge.

Jacobsen noted a portion of the trail running under the U.S. 30 Expressway on Toledo's south side was paved at a cost to the Iowa Department of Transportation of $80,000.

There are six flower bed areas along the trial which are maintained by the trial board and volunteers, he said.

Jacobsen asked the councils to consider an annual funding of the trail to pay primarily for maintenance costs.

Trail board members are Pat Downs, Kenny Bacon, Sue Harrington, John Willett, Mark McFate and Jacobsen.



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